Safety and Health in the Workplace

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

World Day for Safety and Health at Work exists to draw attention to work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, and provides an opportunity to remember those who have died from a work-related injury. By raising awareness, we can better take action to minimise or eliminate the H&S risks faced at work.

 

This year’s theme, set by the International Labour Organisation, is:

Act together to build a positive safety and health culture.

By deciding this theme, the ILO encourages workplaces to foster a strong health and safety culture, allowing everyone to contribute to such an environment.

When looking at Safe Work Australia’s Key WHS Australia 2021 Statistics, we discover the following facts:

  • Vehicle collision counts for 41% of worker fatalities.
  • The highest number of fatalities occurs to machinery operators & drivers, and labourers.
  • There were 120,355 total serious claims between 2019-2020.
  • Majority of claims are made due to body stress, or falls and trips. 
  • Serious claims are mostly for traumatic joint/muscle injury.
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing occupations have both the highest number of work related deaths, and highest number of work-related claims. 

Due to technical innovation or social and organisational change, employers and employees both need to be aware of new and emerging risks in the workplace. This includes:

  • New tech. e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology.
  • New conditions, e.g. higher workload, work intensification.
  • Emerging employment types, e.g. self-employment, outsourcing.

Through awareness, and by identifying risks early, organisations can act accordingly against potential risks to their employees, and help avoid further injuries and deaths in the workplace. 

 

To read more, visit Safe Work Australia

Violence and Aggression in the Workplace

As the World Day for Safety and Health at Work approaches, a topic that far too many employees relate to is Workplace Violence and Aggression. Unfortunately as tough times have continued to impact people, the escalation in aggression and violence towards employees has also continued. Employees and employers are now drawing more attention to these unsafe and violent behaviours. Many organisations such as WorkSafe Victoria and Safe Work Australia are now providing more resources to help address this ongoing problem.

What is considered Workplace Violence?

Workplace aggression and violence relates to various forms of actions and behaviours that is used to intimidate, scare and threaten a person – therefore, putting an employee at risk, which no matter what the situation is unacceptable. Some examples of this as provided by WorkSafe Victoria, include the following:

 

  • Aggressive gestures or expressions such as eye rolling and sneering
  • Verbal abuse such as yelling, swearing and name calling
  • Intimidating physical behaviour such as standing in a workers personal space or standing over them
  • Physical assault such as biting, spitting, scratching, pushing, shoving, tripping and grabbing
  • Extreme acts of violence and aggression such as hitting, punching, strangulation, kicking, personal threats, threats with weapons, sexual harassment and assault

All employees deserve to feel safe at work and employers have an ongoing responsibility to prevent and respond to work-related violence. As ongoing exposure to these incidents can have a detrimental effect on an employee’s mental and physical wellbeing.

To read more, visit WorkSafe Victoria